About The Ojai Valley Youth Foundation
The Ojai Valley Youth Foundation began with the creation of the Ojai Valley Youth Master Plan in 1996, which included the input of more than 1,000 youth and adults from throughout the community.
To implement the Plan, and provide for youth voice and vision in our community on an ongoing basis, the City of Ojai, the county of Ventura, the Ojai Unified School District, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department collaborated to establish the non-profit Ojai Valley Youth Foundation in 1997.
Youth and Adult Partnership:
From the start, the OVYF has involved youth as partners and catalysts in all its activities, including the Board of Directors. We have become a pioneer in the area of youth-adult partnerships and are proving their value in healthy youth and community development.
‘Wellness Village’ Grant:
In late 1997. the OVYF received a planning grant to apply for one of ten grants from the California Wellness Foundation’s Children and Youth Community Health Initiative. Its goal was to engage youth and adults to improve the health of their communities.
Results and Impact:
Because of the inclusive community planning that led to the Youth Master Plan and the California Wellness Foundation grant, the Ojai Valley Youth foundation has been able to respond quickly to community needs, convening forums after local and national tragedies, working with schools to provide diversity trainings, and facilitating community trainings on mentoring, communication and visioning. OVYF has also helped the community attract additional grand dollars- for example; through OVYF led planning the Ojai Valley became the first Prop. 10 funded “Neighborhood for Learning” in Ventura County, with scholarships and enrichment activities for our youngest children and their families.
The promise of youth leadership and youth –adult partnership continues to be fulfilled as more and more of the community tries out this model. The City of Ojai recently instated the first-ever Youth Commission and is using the OVYF’s youth media agency, Generation Communications, to market recycling programs. The Rotary Club of Ojai use “GenCom” to design its logo and poster for “The Taste of Ojai”, and is encourages youth presence at their meetings on a regular basis.
The OVYF continues to grow and expand, working to strengthen our youth and our community as a whole through forging positive and creative connections and opportunities for all ages. We welcome your involvement and support.